Question: I have a small vibratory tumbler (designed for gun casings). I would like to use it to clean and polish small parts from motorcycles as I restore them. This would include nuts, bolts and washers (steel, stainless steel, brass) and some aluminum parts. I assume a variety of media would be needed — can you please let me know which media I should get?
Response: Small motorcycle parts can be cleaned using either a wet or dry process. Vibratory tumbling the parts with Corn Cob Grit in a dry process will remove the soils (oil, grease, etc.) and leave the parts clean. Depending on how dirty the parts are and what type of surface finish is required, a dry tumbling process can be up to 6 hours or even longer.
A wet process using a Ceramic Media such as a 3/16″ x 3/8″ KM (general purpose bond) Angle Cut Cylinder with a general purpose compound such as Kramco 1010 will degrease the parts, remove light rust (if any) and leave the parts clean. This process is typically a maximum of 1-2 hours. It is important to make sure that the vibratory tumbler being used is able to handle the weight of Ceramic Media.